One Simple Tip to Make Family Mealtimes Easier
You know how sometimes you decide to do something differently and then wonder why you didn’t do it sooner? It reminds me of that old saying “if your head is hurting, stop banging it against the wall”.
That’s exactly what this week’s Quick Tip is about. I’d battled for some time with mealtimes, wanting my kids to eat everything I’d given them and finish what I’d put on their plate. Week after week though, I’d trudge wearily to the bin and throw out perfectly good food that they’d just not eaten.
And then we decided to do things differently.
My kids love Chinese food. You know how in Chinese restaurants food is presented on plates in the middle of the table to share? Well, I noticed how sensible my two were about helping themselves and eating what they’d put on the plate themselves. So we decided to do the same thing at home. Rather than try to guess how hungry my kids were and put food on the plate for them, I put it in serving dishes instead, plonked it in the middle of the table and we encouraged them to help themselves. And then we sat back and waited for the inevitable battles to begin. Well, the difference was pretty staggering.
Almost instantly, there was no more nagging from me for the kids to finish their food, no more food on plates that didn’t get eaten, the kids took what they wanted and ate it all. Yes, we did have to put some rules in place but I’ll talk about that in another Quick Tip.
What I found as a nice extra was that because the kids took less food and less got thrown away, I actually realised I was cooking way too much in the first place. So I cut back on how much I cooked which ultimately meant I was able to cut down on the grocery bill too.
So, happier mealtimes, happier kids, less food waste. So why didn’t I do this sooner again?